Opportunity to build your own home comes to Shrewsbury
People may soon get the chance to build their own homes in Shrewsbury, after Shropshire Council agreed to invest in the work needed to provide 47 serviced plots on Shropshire Council-owned land off London Road.
The project development was agreed by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet on 12 June 2019, and ratified at a meeting of Full Council 25 July 2019. The project will be self-funding, funded from the sale of the 47 plots. It’s proposed that the development will provide a mixture of smaller affordable dwellings, and larger homes. We have provided slightly more affordable plots than the minimum requirement.
Shropshire Council will now apply for planning permission for the development.
If planning is successful the council will invite companies to tender for completing the infrastructure works which will include constructing roads, installing services and completing shared landscaping.
There are almost 80 people on Shropshire Council’s current self-build register and approximately 500 from previous registers. 183 individuals have expressed their interest and requested Shrewsbury as the place they want to build their home, so demand for the plots is expected to be high.
It is hoped that the scheme will be presented to planning committee in early December 2019. The infrastructure works are planned to begin in Spring 2020. The work is programmed for around four months which means the first phase of house building could commence in early Summer 2020.
The successful self-build purchasers can use this four-month period to appoint architects/consultants/builders and submit a planning application for their individual self-build.
Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and strategic planning, said:
“This is a really exciting initiative. The London Road development will be an exemplar scheme, which is eagerly anticipated by other councils that are contemplating their own self-build schemes. It’s the first of its kind for Shropshire Council and is intended to showcase the potential for future developments of this nature.
“We aiming to provide a low-density self-build, low carbon, hybrid and unique development scheme for people that want to build their own homes – and we hope this will provide a stepping stone to further self-build plots in the future.”
Shropshire Council officers have already completed the required due diligence for this project. The initial investigations were completed by external engineers who provided essential surveys and reports: these included geotechnical surveys, a ground contamination report, a flood risk assessment, a transport assessment and an ecology report, and other surveys will also be completed.
Architects were commissioned to draw up a masterplan layout and from this individual plot ‘passports’ for each of the 47 plots have been completed.
A self-build website – www.shropshire.gov.uk/self-build-homes – was set up in 2018.
Shropshire Council was one of eleven councils awarded Vanguard status in 2015 to lead the way with the provision of a self-build register and sites.
In November 2018, Shropshire Council won a coveted award for Best Council for Custom and Self-Build at the national ‘Build It’ awards in London. This was largely due to the work carried out on the London Road site to date.
About the London Road site
The site is roughly triangular in shape and extends to approx. 4.41 hectares (10.90 acres). It sits to the north of London Road, (A5061) 3km south east of the town centre, in an area established with mixed residential and commercial uses and immediately abutting Shrewsbury Crematorium.
The self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015
This act imposes two main duties on Local Authorities.
They set up and maintain a register of self-builders who wish to build in their area and ensure that they provide sufficient planning permissions for the number of people wanting to build their own homes.
People must have regard to their self-build register when carrying out their planning, housing, land disposal and regeneration functions.
About the self-build register
Since the self-build register was launched in January 2015 almost 500 people have registered. When registering people specified where they would require a plot and 183 people have requested Shrewsbury as the place they want to build.